Tay Thi Nguyen, a 21-year-old woman from rural Vietnam, had plenty of reasons to drop out of school. Growing up, her parents struggled to pay for basic necessities; they saw education as a luxury, and pressured her to do something useful, like work as a maid. They even burned her school books–more than once. But Nguyen persisted with her education, going on to earn a degree at a Teacher’s College. She worked in a factory to pay her tuition–and now, she’s become a teacher herself. Her success has even inspired a change in her parents. A spokesman for Room to Read, a girls’ education group Nguyen is involved with, told HuffPost, her parents “now encourage her brother, Phat to follow his sister’s example by pursuing an education.”
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